The Polytechnic University of Catalonia has removed the photographs of Ukrainian serviceman Dmytro Kozatskyi, Azovstal defender and Azov Regiment fighter, from its exhibition. Pro-Russian Ukrainian blogger Anatoly Shariy demanded their removal and organized a massive campaign of complaints against the exhibition.
On November 13, the university published a statement that the works had been withdrawn and that the university “was unaware of their author’s ideology”.
“The UPC radically rejects Nazism and regrets the situation created,” reads the statement.
Dmytro Kozatkyi is also known by his call sign, Orest, and has been nicknamed “the eyes of Azovstal”. He is the author of most photographs from the steelworks in Mariupol besieged by Russian troops. Many global publications have published his works. His images and videos shed light on the events at the facility, offering an insider's perspective. He documented the Ukrainian defenders’ valor and the military crimes of Russian troops in Mariupol.
In May 2022, he published his last photographs and wrote he was bracing himself for captivity. “This is it, then. Thanks for the shelter, Azovstal – the place of my death and my life,” Orest wrote. He also asked to submit his works to contests. Orest returned to Ukraine in September among other POWs Putin exchanged for his Ukrainian pal Viktor Medvedchuk.